It was a sunny May day in Monterey, California. I had just moved back to California from Vegas at the time (that’s another story), and of course one of the first things I did was to go kayaking. Vegas had an endless supply of cacti and an awesome vegan cafe with ten different kinds of cupcakes, but I missed the ocean desperately.
The waves weren’t crazy, so I never thought just 20 minutes after I started out I’d be struggling for my life.
To sum up, a slightly bigger wave came, and the next thing I knew, my kayak was capsized and I went underwater. I was gasping for air after swallowing all that sea water, and to make it worse, the kayak had hit my forehead when it flipped over and left me with a bleeding cut. Oh and my paddle had drifted away, so I couldn’t paddle back to shore. I tried to scream for help, but all those sunbathers were too busy enjoying their tan on the beach and no one could hear me or see me. I really didn’t have an option other than starting to swim, while dragging my kayak with me (thank god the kayak was attached to my wrist by a string). I was afraid if I didn’t swim fast enough, the current would take me further offshore, and it would be impossible for me to get back again without the paddle.
I was soaked and the water was freezing cold, but I didn’t have time to worry about that trivial detail. I started to swim like there was no tomorrow. I’ve liked swimming, but prior to that point of my life, I never thought of swimming as a lifesaving skill.
After what felt like a lifetime, I was close enough to the beach where some people spotted me and looked like they weren’t sure if I needed help (of course I needed help, people! What kind of idiot would swim with a kayak behind them rather than sitting on it?!) But anyway I made it back onto the beach, and several people rushed over to help me pull the kayak and cover me with a blanket.
I was amazed that I didn’t panic or freak out under the circumstances. Deep inside I knew what I had to do, and I did it.
My throat remained hurting over the next few days possibly from drinking all that sea water and my forehead was still bruised, but other than that I was totally fine and in fact pretty calm.
Looking back, there was one thing that really struck me, and I didn’t even realize the absurdity of it at the time. The moment the kayak was capsized and I went underwater, the first thought that came to my mind was – omg I hope I didn’t lose my sunglasses! 😛
p.s. obviously I don’t have a photo of me struggling in the ocean, but I hope the photos above show how beautiful Monterey is. It’s a perfect place for kayaking, trust me! 🙂